Almost 40 fires and explosions erupt in MA

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Razin said he arrived just as residents were being evacuated, and immediately saw the house two doors down was levelled from an explosion.

Massachusetts State Police said that the gas lines are being depressurized, but noted that the process "will take some time".

At least one person died and 12 were injured after dozens of fires and suspected gas explosions erupted leading to mass evacuations from U.S. towns north of Boston, police said. He said there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky".

"We had more people than we had seats", he said.

At least 10 other people were injured as explosions and fires affected almost 40 homes and businesses in the state, CNN reported.

"Cases range from smoke inhalation to traumatic blast injuries", the hospital said. Ten people were being treated at Lawrence General Hospital, spokeswoman Jill McDonald Halsey said.

North Andover resident Laurie Williams, 55, said she drove home from work to find police and fire vehicles blocking streets near her home, and learned that three buildings nearby were on fire.

"Far too early to speculate on cause", the state police tweeted, adding that a joint investigation will be conducted when the situations is stabilized.

Emergency crews are responding to what they believe is a series of gas explosions that have damaged homes across three communities north of Boston.

Lawrence, Andover and North Andover were included Thursday morning in an alert from Columbia Gas of MA telling customers on its website that it was "upgrading natural gas lines in neighborhoods" across the state.

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At least 30 homes and businesses caught fire in Andover, and active fires were reported in Lawrence as of early Friday morning, several hours after initial reports surfaced, fire officials said. Just a few streets down, he said, homes were burning. "It looks like traffic's moving, but very slowly".

Gov. Charlie Baker said on Twitter that he's monitoring the situation and that he urged residents to "heed instructions from local officials" about evacuations and "suspending gas usage".

Many streets in the affected areas of Andover, North Andover, and South Lawrence remain closed, so commuting could be challenging, though highways in the area are reportedly running smoothly. "Everything since then has been obfuscation, and they have not met their mandate". This sent an additional 20 engines and ladder trucks total to Andover.

Officials in Andover and North Andover say they have sufficient resources to continue to operate shelters, but contact the Red Cross at 774-204-5071 about the best ways to help.

The US Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said it was sending a team to support the state's emergency response efforts.

At least three people have been injured in Andover, including one firefighter and two civilians, town officials said in a statement.

"It's been a long time since we've gone this far away".

"Thankful for our NH Firefighters who are answering the call to help our neighbors". One critical patient was transported to a Boston trauma center.

It was the largest natural gas pipeline accident, in terms of the number of buildings involved, in the United States since 2010, when an interstate natural gas transmission line operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Company ruptured in San Bruno, California, destroying 38 buildings, damaging 70 more, and killing eight people, according to a Reuters analysis of incident reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). "From an investment standpoint, for NiSource, this is a small part of their system", Fishman said.